Author: ALYSSA SHEINMEL
Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DIVERSE FICTION
Ages: 14 and up
Length: 352 PAGES
Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS INC.
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: FEBRUARY 5, 2019
Price: $17.99 USD (HARDCOVER)
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Four walls. One window. No way to escape.
Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She doesn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at that summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and the judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. Those college applications aren’t going to write themselves. Until then, she’s determined to win over the staff and earn some privileges so she doesn’t lose her mind to boredom.
Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage, and she’s the perfect project to keep Hannah’s focus off all she is missing at home. But Lucy may be the one person who can get Hannah to confront the secrets she’s avoiding – and the dangerous games that landed her in confinement in the first place.
In “A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS” readers meet Hannah Gold who presents as a typical teenager. She may seem a bit arrogant, but I found that trait easy to overlook.
Hannah has been sent to a mental institution after her roommate was injured in an accident. She knows she isn’t like the other residents, she is only there because of a misunderstanding.
It is the way that Hannah comes across initially that makes her such a memorable character. Even after the book ends, Hannah’s journey will stay in the hearts and minds of readers for a long time.
Once in awhile a Young Adult book is published that actually provides an authentic look at the lives of a segment of the teen population that has been largely ignored by the majority of authors. This lack of diversity is finally being charged with the publication of books like this one.
While mental illness is starting to be talked about more and more – with such movements as the “You Are Not Alone” and events such as “Mental Health Awareness Week” we still have a long way to go before the societal stigma attached to mental illness is a thing of the past.
That is why books like this are not only entertainment. They are also eye-opening and help people to identify with the person rather than the illness.
In Chapter Seven, Dr. Lightfoot says: “We need to wait until my evaluation is farther along before making any changes to your treatment plan.”
In her head, Hannah thinks:
“Further, not farther, I think. They could at least give me a doctor who knows basic grammar. It’s not exactly comforting that my fate is in her hands.”
I had already begun to like Hannah’s character, and her reaction to the doctor cemented it for me. I like this girl.
I barely knew anything about her yet, but somehow the author has created a sympathetic character that I could relate to. Other readers will likely have the same reaction which means they will become invested in the outcome of her incarceration, making it likely they will not want to put this book down.
I rate “A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS” as a full 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I believe this book will not only be on the 2019 Bestsellers List, but will also win multiple awards.
“Reset. Like I am an appliance that needs tinkering, a frozen laptop that needs to be rebooted. I don’t think Ctrl + Alt + Delete is going to cut it here.”
“…the hospitals on television don’t look like this place: On TV, the doors don’t stay locked, the furniture isn’t bolted to the floor, and people who are perfectly capable of walking don’t use bedpans.”
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